With just a little over two weeks left in the year, we are rounding up our favorite comic book covers of 2019!
2019 was a great year for comics big and small, and narrowing our favorites down to those below was a near impossible task. These are simply our picks, but we want to know yours too, so be sure to comment and let us know what YOUR favorite covers of the year were!
Nominations were collected by publishers, creators, and the Monkeys Fighting Robots team, and were then voted on by the MFR team. Thank you to all the publishers and creators who contributed nominations; we can’t wait to see what new goodies you have coming in 2020!!
Life and Death of Toyo Harada #1 Glass Variant
(Doug Braithwaite & Travis Escarfullery)
We love covers that do new and interesting things, and this glass variant from Valiant Comics fits the bill perfectly! Illustrated by Doug Braithwaite and crafted by Valiant Director of Design and Production, Travis Escarfullery, this is a cover that you can literally see yourself in. This is actually the publisher’s third glass variant, with two coming out last year for Bloodshot Rising Spirit #1 and Livewire #1.
House of X #2
(Pepe Larraz & Marte Gracia)
We should have know this House of X issue was going to rock our world as soon as we saw the cover. The symmetry, the colors…all of it blends together to inform the reader of the complex yet fun ride inside.
Our Favorites From 2019 (in no particular order):
Dark Red #2
A good cover should capture the essence of the story inside, and just look at this one for AfterShock Comics’ Dark Red. It’s bloody; it’s symbolic; it’s patriotic. Aaron Campbell sets you up perfectly for the political vampire comic you’re about to read.
Spider-Man Life Story #2
Monochromatic covers rule, plain and simple. They really allow the book to stand out on the shelf among the rest of the week’s new comics. This one by Chip Zarsky (who also wrote the series) is memorable, not just for the artist’s bold use of orange, but for how it represents the strain that Spider-Man is under within the story.
Invisible Kingdom #6
Christian Ward made our Best Covers list last year too, and you can see why. He’s easily one of the best artists working today, with a gorgeous, surreal style that simply doesn’t look like anything else on the stands. There’s an almost dreamlike quality to his Invisible Kingdom covers; they’re all great, but the subdued color palette on this one makes it stand out among the rest.
The Joker: Year of the Villain #1 (Forbidden Planet Variant)
Similar to what we were just saying about Christian Ward, Jock’s art has a very surreal edge to it. Plus he draws the quintessential Joker for the 21st century. All of that combined with the trippy neon colors tells you all you need to know about this dark comic before you even open it.
Middlewest #10 has perhaps been the most powerful issue in the series yet, and that honor extends to its cover as well. The blues and whites make this book feel frigid and harsh; the mists and the trees make it feel claustrophobic. There’s a sense of isolation, and of course we can’t leave out the GIANT ANGRY FACE billowing out of the chimney. This is an emotional one.
Livewire #11 (Fashion Variant)
Remember what we said earlier about monochromatic covers? The yellow on this Livewire variant really POPS and makes this book stand out, and the Rolling Stone homage gives it a unique vibe. This is a cover that would make you pick up this book even if you haven’t read any issues prior.
The Green Lantern #6
(Liam Sharp & Steve Oliff)
Every Liam Sharp/Steve Oliff cover for The Green Lantern is outstanding, but this one featuring Adam Strange takes the cake. It has this neo-western/gunslinger scene, and the copy makes it feel like an old-school sci-fi comic from the 50s. Plus, just look at all the detail Sharp put into the setting!
Going to the Chapel #4
(Johanna The Mad)
One look at this cover is all you need to understand why they call her Johanna the Mad… it’s because her work is MAD good (*mic drop*). The pinks and purples, and the soft nature of the coloring speak to both the romance and the western sides of the story, and just look at that wedding dress. This image of Emily in her dress holding a shotgun, it just perfectly communicates the nature of Chapel.
This Coda cover looks like it could have been the poster for an 80s fantasy movie, or the cover to a heavy metal album. Bergara tells you, “This story is about a journey, but it will not be an easy journey. It will be a perilous one.” The looming darkness over the bright, colorful mountain speaks volumes.
Immortal Hulk #16
Alex Ross has been doing some of the best cover work of his career on Immortal Hulk, and that’s saying a lot. Any one of his covers could have made this list, but we chose this more understated one because it really speaks to the horror nature of the book. The darker colors, the graveyard setting, the looming full moon with the Hulk’s head inside…it all fills you with dread and fear for Rick Jones (and you SHOULD fear for Rick Jones).
What were your favorite comic books covers from 2019? Let us know in the comments!